Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Sources

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The following list consists of recommended sources for expanding album articles that primarily or exclusively cover musical topics. This list is also merely a collection of suggestions, and other good sources may exist. Many of these sources include reviews or links to reviews that can be used to source critical reception sections in album articles, and to add ratings to the {{Album ratings}} template. This list is not exhaustive: Additional websites and print sources may also be used, provided they meet the criteria at Wikipedia:Reliable sources and WP:MOSALBUM#Critical reception. Specifically, reviews should be written by professional music journalists or DJs, or found within any online or print publication having a (paid or volunteer) editorial and writing staff (which excludes personal blogs), and must be from a source that is independent of the artist, record company, etc.

Note: While help in expanding this list is quite welcome, please don't add any items to the list before discussing it first on the talk page. Take a look into the project archives for examples of how it has been done in the past. For example here, here, or here.

Online and print[edit]

Publication Primary focus Rating system Country Website Back issues
Alternative Press Rock 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US altpress.com [8]
American Songwriter Singer-songwriter 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US americansongwriter.com
The A.V. Club Popular music Letter grade: B +/- US avclub.com
BBC Music Magazine Classical, jazz, world 5-star scale: 3/5 stars US classical-music.com [9]
Billboard Popular music No formal scale US billboard.com [10]
Blender Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US blender.com [11]
Bluegrass Unlimited Bluegrass, old-time No formal scale US bluegrassmusic.com/content/
Blurt Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US blurtmagazine.com
The Boston Globe Popular music No formal scale US bostonglobe.com
CCM Magazine Christian - CCM, gospel, rock, heavy metal, hip hop, urban 5-star scale: 3/5 stars, older reviews letter grade: B +/- US ccmmagazine.com [12]
Chart/ChartAttack Rock, alternative, indie No formal rating system Canada chartattack.com
Chicago Tribune All genres 4-star scale: 3/4 stars US chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/
Robert Christgau Rock, popular music {{Rating-Christgau}}: C+, (2-star Honorable Mention) or (dud) US robertchristgau.com Note: Christgau's articles appear in numerous publications
Christianity Today Christian - all genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US christianitytoday.com/ct/music/ [13]
Classical Recordings Quarterly Classical No formal scale US crq.org.uk/index.php [14]
CMJ Popular music No formal scale US cmj.com
Complex Hip hop, R&B, pop, electronic, rock No formal scale US complex.com/music/
Country Weekly Country Letter grade B +/-; reviews from 2003-2012 use a 5-star scale 3.5/5 stars; no formal scale before then.
Some online archives of reviews omit the rating designation.
US countryweekly.com [15]
Crawdaddy! Rock No formal scale US pastemagazine.com/blogs/crawdaddy/
The Daily Telegraph All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/
Decibel Heavy metal 10-star scale: 8.5/10 stars US decibelmagazine.com [16]
Down Beat Jazz, blues, R&B 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars, online reviews have no formal scale US downbeat.com
Dummy Electronic music 10-point scale: 7/10 UK dummymag.com
Entertainment Weekly All genres Letter grade: B +/- US ew.com/ew/music/
Exclaim! All genres 10-point scale: 7/10 or no formal scale Canada exclaim.ca
Fact Popular music 5-disc scale UK factmag.com
The Fader Popular music, folk, experimental No formal scale US thefader.com [17]
Filter Popular music 100-percent scale: 75% US filtermagazine.com [18]
The Fly Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK mamacolive.com/thefly/ [19]
Gramophone Classical No formal scale UK gramophone.co.uk [20]
The Guardian All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK guardian.co.uk/music [21]
Hip Hop Connection Hip hop 5-point scale: 4/5 UK
HM Christian - rock, heavy metal 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars, some older reviews 10-point scale or no formal scale US hmmagazine.com [22]
The Independent All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/
Jazz Journal Jazz 5-star scale: 3/5 stars UK jazzjournal.co.uk
JazzTimes Jazz No formal scale US jazztimes.com [23]
Juice Rock, heavy metal, surf and skate music No formal scale US juicemagazine.com/home/category/music-2/
Kerrang! Rock, heavy metal 5-"K" scale UK kerrang.com
Latin Beat Magazine Latin No formal scale US latinbeatmagazine.com Note: Multi-language source [24]
LA Weekly Popular music No formal rating scale US www.laweekly.com/music/
Limelight Classical, jazz, pop 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars Australia limelightmagazine.com.au [25]
Living Blues Blues No formal scale US livingblues.com [26]
Los Angeles Times All genres 4-star scale: 3/4 stars US latimes.com/entertainment/news/music/
Loud and Quiet Popular music 10-point scale: 7/10 or no formal scale UK loudandquiet.com [27]
Magnet Rock 10-star scale: 7.5/10 stars US magnetmagazine.com [28]
Metal Forces Heavy metal 10-point scale: 7/10 UK www.metalforcesmagazine.com [29]
Metal Hammer Heavy metal 10-point scale: 7/10 UK metalhammer.co.uk [30]
Mixmag EDM, Synthpop 5-"headphones" scale UK mixmag.net [31]
Mojo Rock, popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK mojo4music.com [32]
The New York Times All genres No formal scale US nytimes.com/pages/arts/music/index.html [33]
NME Rock, popular music 10-point scale: 7/10 UK nme.com [34] (digital)
Now All genres 5-"N" scale Canada nowtoronto.com/music [35]
Opera Opera No formal scale UK opera.co.uk [36]
Opera Canada Opera Canada operacanada.ca [37] (digital)
Opera News Opera No formal scale US operanews.com [38]
Paste Rock 10-point scale: 7.6/10 US pastemagazine.com [39]
Q Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK qthemusic.com
Rap-Up Urban, popular music No formal rating scale US rap-up.com
Record Collector All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK recordcollectormag.com [40]
Rock Hard Heavy metal 10-point scale: 7.5/10 Germany rockhard.de Note: German language source [41]
Rock Sound Rock 10-point scale: 7/10 UK rocksound.tv [42]
Rolling Stone Rock, popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US rollingstone.com [43]
Respect. Hip hop No formal rating scale US respect-mag.com
Revolver Heavy metal 5-point scale: 3/5 US revolvermag.com [44]
The Skinny All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK theskinny.co.uk/music/ [45]
Sonic Seducer Dark culture 10-point sale or no formal scale Germany sonic-seducer.de Note: German language source [46]
The Source Hip hop 5-"microphone" scale US thesource.com
Spin Rock, hip hop, alternative 10-point scale: 7/10 US spin.com Is no longer run in a print version [47]
This Is Fake DIY Popular music, indie 10-point scale: 7/10 UK thisisfakediy.co.uk [48]
Triple J Popular music No formal scale Australia abc.net.au/triplej/default.htm
Uncut Popular music Older: 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars
Newer: 10-point scale: 7/10
UK uncut.co.uk/music
Under the Radar Indie 10-star scale: 7.5/10 stars US undertheradarmag.com [49]
URB Electronic, urban No formal scale UK urb.com
USA Today All genres 4-star scale: 3/4 stars US usatoday.com/life/music/
Vibe R&B, hip hop 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US vibe.com
The Washington Post Popular music No formal rating scale US washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/music
The Wire Avant-garde, modern classical, jazz, hip hop, electronic No formal scale UK thewire.co.uk
XXL Hip hop System based on clothing sizes; scale of small ("S") to extra-extra large ("XXL") US xxlmag.com

Online only[edit]

Publication Primary focus Rating system Country Website Notes
AbsolutePunk Rock, alternative, indie Percentage scale: 93% US absolutepunk.net
About.com All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US about.com/entertainment/#s6 Only cite critics that are marked as "Yes" in this thread: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 48#Table of critics
AllHipHop Hip hop 10-point scale: 7/10 US allhiphop.com
All About Jazz Jazz, blues No formal scale US allaboutjazz.com
AllMusic All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US allmusic.com Do not indicate the "Album Pick" designation, do not use genre sidebar, do not include reviews that include only a star review and no text review
Alternative Addiction Rock, independent 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US alternativeaddiction.com
AltSounds Rock, independent 10-point scale: 7.6/10 International altsounds.com
BBC Music All genres No formal scale UK bbc.co.uk/music Do not use mirrors of Wikipedia
Blabbermouth.net Hard rock, heavy metal 10-point scale: 7.5/10 US blabbermouth.net News items should not be used for BLP statements, and if another source can be found for information given, use that source instead. Reviews are acceptable for use in all articles.
The BoomBox Hip hop, R&B No formal scale US theboombox.com
Canoe.ca All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars Canada jam.canoe.ca Portal for Sun Media newspapers in Canada
Classical Net Classical No formal scale US classical.net
Cokemachineglow.com Pop No formal scale Unknown cokemachineglow.com
Consequence of Sound Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US consequenceofsound.net
Country Standard Time Country No formal scale US countrystandardtime.com Originally a print magazine from 1995-2009; site does not include all reviews from the magazine's history, so print copies may also be cited
DJBooth Hip hop 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars (Converted from headphones) US djbooth.net
Drowned in Sound Rock, independent 10-point scale: 7/10 UK drownedinsound.com Only use staff reviews
ExploreMusic All genres No formal rating system Canada exploremusic.com
HipHopDX Hip hop 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars (Converted from X's) US hiphopdx.com
The Huffington Post Popular music No formal rating scale US huffingtonpost.com/news/music/
Idolator Popular music 10-star scale: 6/10 stars US idolator.com
Jesus Freak Hideout Christian - popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US jesusfreakhideout.com/default.aspx Avoid user reviews (distinguished as yellow stars instead of red)
The Line of Best Fit Popular music 10-star scale: 7.5/10 stars UK thelineofbestfit.com
Melodic Rock, independent 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars International melodic.net
Metal Storm Heavy metal 10-point scale: 7.6/10.0 or

no formal scale

Estonia metalstorm.net/pub/reviews.php Do not use guest reviews, recognizable by a tag, or staff reviews from before 2009
MTV Popular music No formal rating system US mtv.com Searchable artist bios, discographies, album commentary, and other artist information can be found here.
MusicOMH All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars or no formal scale UK musicomh.com
Noisecreep Hard rock, heavy metal No formal rating system US noisecreep.com
No Ripcord Popular music 10-point scale: 7.5/10 UK noripcord.com
NPR Music All genres No formal scale US npr.org/music/
Nothing But Hope And Passion Popular music No formal scale Germany nbhap.com
Pitchfork Media Popular music, independent 10-point scale: 7.6/10.0 US pitchfork.com
PopMatters Popular music 10-point scale: 7/10 International popmatters.com No formal rating for reviews published before 2005
Punknews.org Punk, heavy metal, independent 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US punknews.org Use staff reviews only, recognizable by a tag
RapReviews.com Hip hop 10 point scale: 6/10 US rapreviews.com
Roughstock Country 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars; no formal scale on pre-2011 reviews or on singles reviews after early 2014 US roughstock.com
Slant Magazine Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US slantmagazine.com/music
Spinner Rock No formal rating system US spinner.com
Sputnikmusic All genres 5-point scale: 3.5/5 US sputnikmusic.com Use staff and emeritus reviews only, recognizable by tag
Stylus Magazine Popular music Letter grade: B +/- US stylusmagazine.com
Taste of Country Country 5-star scale 3.5/5 stars; some old reviews use 10-point scale (7.5/10) US tasteofcountry.com
VH1 Popular music No formal rating system US vh1.com

Aggregates[edit]

Metacritic can be used to give an aggregate score of an album's reception. However, avoid citing the review excerpts listed below the aggregate score; Instead, seek out the reviews in full and cite them individually. {{Album ratings}} has a |MC= parameter that can be used to display the aggregate score for an album. When describing the score in prose, be sure to note that the score is an aggregate and how many reviews it is based on. For example:

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 46/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating

The Devil's Rain received mixed reviews from critics: At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 46 out of 100, which indicates "mixed or average reviews," based on 11 reviews.[1]

  1. ^ a b "The Devil's Rain – Misfits". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 

Other sources[edit]

A physical album's liner notes are generally a good place to find writing and production credits for a personnel section. Some records are also released with additional writing that may be helpful with an article's recording and/or composing section. The album notes can be properly sourced with the {{Cite album-notes}} template.

As long as the information being contributed is not overly promotional, unduly self-serving or biased, the artist or record label's website may be acceptable sources. These sites often provide detailed information about an artist's discography. However, since many band websites are recreated entirely upon the release of a new studio album, URL's or information may be moved or deleted, and articles are left with the phenomenon known as link rot. To avoid this, try to find a different source with the same information, or web archive of the original source. For assistance with web archiving, see Wikipedia:Using the Wayback Machine.

If the artist in question was subject to any form of recorded audio or video in the possible form of a television documentary or an informational DVD/VHS, this may be an acceptable source of information. To cite information from a source like this, use either {{cite video}} or {{cite episode}}, whichever is most applicable.

If an artist or recording act has existed for a significant period of time and/or has made a great impact on their scene or music in general, it's likely that someone has written a book on the topic. An easy way to search through books is with a quick Google Books search. Google Books will provide links of several possible locations to obtain a copy, and will sometimes provide select passages of the book for previewing. To cite a book as a source, use the {{cite books}} template.

Non-English reviews[edit]

For more, see Wikipedia:Verifiability#Non-English sources

English-language reviews are preferred, as languages other than English are not understood by a large number of readers. However, if few reviews exist, reviews in languages other than English may be included, especially if the language is especially relevant to the album in question. Reviews in any language must meet the above guidelines, including Wikipedia:Reliable sources and WP:ALBUMS#Reception.

Christian music[edit]

For sources pertaining primarily or specifically to Christian music of all genres, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Christian music/Sources.

Sources to avoid[edit]

Websites with user-generated content should never be used as sources since they have little or no editorial oversight. This may include other general wiki-style sites such as Wikia, and album-related sites such as Discogs or Rate Your Music. This is also important to be cautious of on websites that publish user-submitted album reviews. For sites such as AbsolutePunk and Sputnikmusic, be sure to select only the staff-written reviews.

Self-published sources are generally unacceptable as references on Wikipedia. An artist's social networking site, such as Facebook or Twitter, in addition to personal blogs and forum posts, should largely be avoided. If the information being added from one of these websites is truly notable enough for inclusion, a publication will likely report about it.[1][2]

Online retailers such as iTunes and Amazon.com should also be avoided. It can be seen as inappropriate to directly link to a site where one can purchase the subject in question. Wikipedia's role should not be used to advance the sale of an album. Generally speaking, all of the information found on online retailers can be found at a number of other sites. Track listings, release dates, record label, album covers and track lengths can all be found at Allmusic. The content and reviews found on online retailers may also be biased in that these sources want you to buy their product.

Allmusic's genre sidebar should generally be avoided if better sources are available. Previous discussions at WP:ALBUMS and RSN have evinced that they can be incongruous with the reviewer's prose, which should take precedent over the sidebar (e.g. Allmusic's sidebar classifies Rhythm Killers as "reggae", while the reviewer observes "no reggae in sight").

List of unreliable sources (with link to relevant discussion)[edit]

Website Discussion Note
Amazon.com Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 26#What constitutes a professional review.3F User-submitted reviews
Audiopinions.net Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 110#Is http:.2F.2Faudiopinions.net reliable.3F -
Bnrmetal.com - -
Daily Mail Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 151#Daily Mail .28UK.29: use in BLPs Tabloid
Dead Press Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 91#Reputable music review.3F -
Encyclopaedia Metallum - -
Epinions - -
Firestream.net - -
Grande-rock.com/ Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 136#Grande Rock -
Themetalcritic.com/ - -
Metalmusicarchives.com Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 110#www.metalmusicarchives.com -
Metal-observer.com - -
Metal Storm (webzine) - Guest reviews, recognizable by a tag, or staff reviews from before 2009
Metalwani.com - -
Perez Hilton - Gossip blogger
Piero Scaruffi Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 46#Piero Scaruffi - Final Verdict on using him as a source in reviews -
PopCrush Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 131#Is PopCrush a reliable source? -
Prog Archives - -
PropertyOfZack.com Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 43#Add PropertyOfZack.com as a legitimate album review and music news site -
Punknews.org - Non-staff reviews
Rate Your Music Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 33#Rate Your Music -
Seaoftranquility.org - -
Sputnikmusic - Non-staff reviews
Soundofmetal.se - -
Thrashhits.com Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 123#Thrash Hits.com, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 32#ThrashHits.com -
Ultimate Guitar Archive - -
UnderTheGunReview.net Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 165#Is 'Under The Gun Review' reliable? -
Thetunemusic.com - -

Reviews and ratings which only summarize other reviews and ratings should not be included either:

About.com[edit]

The reliability of About.com is debated. Some writers have expertise in music criticism, some do not. Please consult the Table of critics to see if a particular writer is reliable. Do not cite critics that are marked as "No" in the discussion.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ On December 11, 2010 Rise Against tweeted that they were almost finished recording their new album.[1] A day later, Alternative Press and PunkNews.org published this as news citing Rise Against's tweet as their source.[2][3]
  2. ^ Following the death of their bassist, Paul Gray, heavy metal group Slipknot were unsure if they would continue as a band. A series of tweets from their lead singer Cory Taylor were posted about his feelings on the matter, and published shortly thereafter by Blabbermouth.net, Noisecreep, Gun Shy Assassin and Chart.[4][5][6][7]